In an ideal world, we’d all have at least an hour a day to devote to fitness, but in reality, 24 hours is not enough to juggle all of our commitments. But fear not, here are some great tips to help put the excuses aside and help find ways to exercise on a busy schedule. No one is ever too busy to boost their overall health, lift their mood, prevent diseases and increase their energy, and if you are, this is definitely a sign you need to take a break!
Fit in a few minutes when you can
If you do just a few minutes in the morning, it will fire up your metabolism and give you energy for the day ahead. A few short workouts during the day can improve memory and boost brain power. Exercising at night may promote relaxation and ease the stresses of the day.
If you need to contact someone instead of sending a text or email, get up and either go an tell them in person or phone them but have a walk around whilst you’re doing so. Whilst doing so, take the stairs instead of the elevator. One of the best exercises is taking the stairs. The same can be done if you’re going for lunch or throughout the day when you’re moving about.
If one of those things you have to fit into your busy schedule is to clean, why not make this into a workout session. From as simple as sweeping faster or scrubbing harder to dancing with the hoover and adding in some jumping jacks, cleaning provides an excellent opportunity to get your whole body moving.
Turn your commute into a workout
Walking is a great method of exercising, even short distances will reduce your chances of weight gain, burn extra calories and some steam. This is easily done by parking a little bit further away from work, or get off one stop earlier and walk the rest of the way. The same can be done on the way home.
Sometimes schedules get a bit hectic, but instead of struggling to get home in the crowds, pack the essentials (i.e. keys, cash, phone, ID) and jog/run to and from work instead. Running is a great workout and you may even find yourself travelling faster than your usual means.
Make the time by waking up earlier
After a long, tiring day it can be hard to fit a workout in. However, by reversing it and getting up earlier to fit the workout in before any other activities, not only are you exercising but you also promote more energy for the rest of the day.
Resetting your sleep schedule need not be hard, it can be easy to reset your sleep schedule to ensure you wake up and get out of bed earlier. Putting your workout gear right next to your bed will encourage you to get up and put it on. If that fails, move the alarm clock across the room with your clothes, so by the time you turn it off, you are ready to get up and move without hitting snooze.
Work out at work
If you’re working all day long it can be draining mentally and physically. But small changes to your desk area and daily routine can give you a small workout, providing more time for the fun stuff.
Sit on a stability ball to strengthen your core or use dumbbells or exercise tubing at your desk for a quick 5-minute rest. A few repetitions will give the blood moving in your body, but also get you moving and prevent stiffness.
Feeling stressed or tired from looking at the screen/problem all day? Take 10 minutes to have a walk around, do some weights, get moving. It will reduce how stressed you feel but may also help you see something clearer or in a new way.
Overcome technology barriers
We all comment on how busy our lives are, but many of us spend hours a day scrolling through social media or catching up on our favourite shows. This is simply because we don’t have the same psychological barriers to these tasks, that we hold to exercising. We fear we will get hurt, be embarrassed or fail, so we don’t. But in the privacy of our own homes, we can overcome these battles. Do a workout when you’re watching your favourite show or scrolling social media. Something quick and simple, but at least you can make working out a more positive experience.
If you need that technology in your life, utilise it. Exercise DVDs are cost-effective, private and flexible. They allow you to stop and start your workouts based on real-life time constraints. You can put the laundry on, hoover, start your workout, come back to the laundry and then finish up the workout, you’ve done three tasks in one. Or you can multitask and have the workout on one screen, whilst a favourite show or podcast is on another. There are plenty of ebooks and at home workouts available on the market, for some inspiration, check out our at home workout programs.
And when you’re ready to break the barriers to working out, to escape the fear, there are plenty of ways you can still unwind without missing out on other things. The best way to see it is to find what you would be afraid of in 10 years of not working out, rather than what you fear from working out now. Being sedentary will propose a life of ill-health, doctors appointments, medications etc. which will take more time than a workout now. So when you reach this realisation, you can move away from the secure attachment to technology and invest your time elsewhere.
The take-home message is: It’s okay to have dirty clothes in the laundry and to not answer every email or text the instance you receive it, but it’s not okay to cheat your health. Each day, ensuring you do the most important things for yourself is all that is important, the other stuff can be left for another day or delegate. There are many ways you can fit in 5 minutes here and 5 there, simply by changing the way you look at the situation.